Lunch is one of the most important foods of the day, and getting the best lunch requires showing up at the best restaurant. Of course, you can get your lunch at some restaurants that offer burgers for only a few cents, but everyone knows Olive Garden offers a wider range of better foods.
Like almost every other American restaurant, Olive Garden has well-defined lunch hours that govern its lunch service. If you’re willing to get lunch at the restaurant, you must show up within the quoted hours for a guaranteed lunch.
In this article, I’ll outline the opening and closing hours for lunch at Olive Garden. Also, I’ll list some of the most delicious items on the lunch menu and what to do when you miss the lunch hours at the restaurant.
When Does Olive Garden Start Serving Lunch?
The official starting hours for lunch at Olive Garden are 11:00 am, which coincides with the time when the restaurant stops serving breakfast. This hour is pretty typical, as it’s the same across almost every other restaurant in the United States.
With that said, Olive Garden is one of those restaurants that offers some leeway as long as lunch hours are concerned. You can always get lunch if you’re only a bit too early or a bit too late, as the following section will explain in more detail.
Also, Olive Garden opens for lunch on almost all holidays apart from Christmas Day and Thanksgiving Day. Besides that, the day before these holidays are usually less eventful than most other days at Olive Garden, as employees may close earlier than usual to plan the day with their families.
In short, the only time it becomes practically impossible to get lunch at Olive Garden is when they’re closed. If they’re open, you can walk in to ask for an item on the lunch menu, and depending on how long you’re willing to wait, you’ll almost certainly get it.
When Does Olive Garden Stop Serving Lunch?
The lunch hours at Olive Garden are pretty confusing, yet straightforward. Olive Garden lists clearly the lunchtimes on its official website, starting from 11:00 am and ending by 3:00 pm. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get lunch before or after that, fueling the confusion.
According to the official website, Olive Garden will always serve a courtesy lunch to all customers who ask. The restaurant is saying that lunch is only available at certain times, but you can access it all day if you’re willing to ask.
This admission is pretty praiseworthy, but it’s crucial to understand that this isn’t new. Almost every restaurant in the United States will serve outside the official lunch hours, but that’s not guaranteed. If you’re not too late to any restaurant, you can politely ask for lunch and you’ll get it.
But with Olive Garden, it’s almost certain that you can get lunch. If you can make do with the breakfast or dinner menus, however, consider using those, as asking for lunch at ungodly hours will put an extra strain on the chef, which is unlikable.
Olive Garden Lunch Hours
The official lunch hour’s start by 11:00 am and end by 3:00 pm, but that doesn’t mark the upper limit for when you can access lunch. As long as you get to the restaurant while it’s open, you can politely request an item from the lunch menu, wait, and have the chef make it for you.
Olive Garden Lunch Menu
One of the weirdest possible things ever is a restaurant without a wide variety of foods. Since this restaurant is relatively normal, there are dozens of items on the lunch menu, most of which you won’t ever consider having for lunch.
To prevent you from having to go through a painfully lengthy menu, I’ve compiled some of the best items on the Olive Garden Lunch menu here.
Here are some of the best foods to order if you’re lunching at Olive Garden for the very first time.
Breadsticks may appear to be a very basic food item, but it’s something that you’ll want to try. They’re crunchy and just soft enough to be perfect for everyone dining at Olive Garden. If you’ve previously tried breadsticks and you didn’t love them, try them again at this restaurant.
You can get the much-loved breadsticks with every meal you order at Olive Garden. There’s even the unbaked option with baking and reheating instructions. It doesn’t matter what you’re getting at the restaurant, if you’re not adding some breadsticks, it’s more or less incomplete.
- Lasagna Fritta
Lasagna isn’t a favorite dish for most people who patronize Olive Garden, but it’s a favorite of mine. The Lasagna Fritta is a semi-unique dish that comprises fried lasagna noodles with cheese and meat sauce.
The sauce itself is a masterpiece, made from Italian sausage and beef. Since lasagna is primarily Italian food, it makes sense that the sauce for the dish is made partly from Italian sausage. Besides the sausage, it also contains tomatoes and vegetables, all of which make the dish alluring.
- House Salad
House Salad is Olive Garden’s signature salad that most fans love. Since I was never a fan of salads, I don’t see myself in the correct position to judge this meal, but if public opinion was to be considered, it’s excellent. This is especially true when you order this salad meal with a bowl of breadsticks.
It contains many vegetables, including lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and croutons. It also has a unique dressing from Olive Garden that completes the salad dish, making it one of the most compelling food options at the restaurant.
Olive Garden is certainly a compelling destination for lunch, thanks to the abundance of foods that aren’t burgers. If you’re seeking a break from Burger King or McDonald’s, Olive Garden’s House Salad or Lasagna Fritta are sure to accept you with open arms.
For assured access to these items, you’ll need to get to the restaurant on time. The official lunch hour’s start by 11:00 am and end by 3:00 pm, but that doesn’t mark the upper limit for when you can access lunch. As long as you get to the restaurant while it’s open, you can politely request an item from the lunch menu, wait, and have the chef make it for you.